England beaten on day one of the Women's World Cup

The tournament hosts were always up against it after seeing India run up 281 for three off their 50 overs, with top three Punam Raut, Smriti Mandhana and captain Mithali Raj all making half-centuries.

Only Australia had ever managed to successfully overhaul a bigger target in women's one-day international history, and victory for England would have comfortably eclipsed their own previous record run chase, which was the 243 they scored to beat New Zealand in 2008.

England battled hard and, at 229 for six in the 44th over with Fran Wilson still there after recording her maiden ODI fifty, the hosts were still well in with a chance of rewriting the history books.

However, Wilson's dismissal for 81 - one of four run-outs suffered by the hosts - was the beginning of the end for England as they were bowled out for 246.

England, who suffered a blow on the eve of the tournament when they lost opener Lauren Winfield to injury, survived a couple of early scares at the start of their reply before losing their first wicket with the score on 33, Tammy Beaumont departing for 14.

Sarah Taylor (22), captain Heather Knight (46), Natalie Sciver (18) all made starts but England continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and were always playing catch-up.

Wilson assured the home side still had a chance of victory, though, and her 62-run partnership with Katherine Brunt (24) for the sixth wicket looked to be turning things England's way.

But both players ended up falling to run outs in the space of 15 balls, and England's chances went with them.

Earlier, India scored the sixth-highest ODI total in their history after being put into bat.

Raut (86) and Mandhana (90) laid the foundations with an opening stand of 144 before Raj (71) and Harmanpreet Kaur (24 not out) kept England under the cosh.

England, who won the World Cup on their previous two occasions as hosts - the inaugural 1973 edition and in 1993 - are next in action on Tuesday when they face Pakistan at Grace Road.

  Fran Wilson starred for England but could not prevent her side from losing their World Cup opener
Fran Wilson starred for England but could not prevent her side from losing their World Cup opener